Inspiration Time!

Hi all!  It’s been another week.  If you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+, you know that I randomly post inspirational images (like inspiration for stories, not those motivational posters).  Recently, I’ve had some people who were interested in how I find these images, why them and not others, etc.  Today, I guess we’ll talk about art!  Or ekphrastic writing (no, it’s not limited to poetry) at least.

“Pagan Poetry: The Devourer” — Photographer: Kay Klages Model: Felipe García

Lately, I’ve found most of the pictures I share (as well as the ones here) on Dark Beauty Magazine’s Facebook page.  One reason I gravitate towards them lately is because of all of the credits they provide (often with links), so if I find a particular artist or model I enjoy, I can follow them.  I like places that give credit where credit is due.  Not to mention that it frustrates me to no end when I want to find a particular artist, but no one seems to know their name.  Other places I find art include DeviantArt, a lot of the pictures of models or bands I like, artist websites (Nene Thomas for example), and random Google searches.  If you had asked me ten years ago where to find art, I could’ve listed at least fifty sites without effort, but I suppose I’ve become more selective as I grew up (or just too lazy to keep track of so many things).

As far as why I choose certain images, I honestly don’t know.  Something about them speaks to me.  The one above, contrary to popular opinion, attracted me because of the blood, not the very lovely man (he’s a bonus).  I enjoy dark themes, so I lean toward creepier artworks.  I tend to prefer night to day, black and white or muted colors to vivid ones, water and fire to earth and wind, things like that.  Granted, there are exceptions, and keep in mind that these preferences refer to images that inspire me to write.

Photographer: Johann Kopf Makeup/Model: Tina Lakos

On the other hand, some images simply tell their own stories.  You can’t look at them without formulating a tale leading to that particular moment captured by the camera (or the brush), or what you imagine is going to happen from that point in time on.  You’re story will probably be different from mine, but a story will be conjured nonetheless.

Take the Johann Kopf picture for instance.  My first thought upon seeing it was “what post-apocalyptic hell is this?,” but the more I look at it, the more ideas I get.  Is it post-apocalyptic or is it an alien planet?  What’s with the axe?  Are the doggies going to survive?  And then my brain has to answer all of those questions.  It’s the same thing for less chatty images (ones that intrigue, but don’t give you much of an outright story to work with), like the one below.  The questions just start flowing.  Who is she?  Why is she in an alley?  Is it an alley or is it a portal to another world?  And on and on and on…

Photographer: Digital Art by Rachid de Wind Model: Queenie Constancia

I suppose what all this means is that I really don’t know why I pick certain pictures over others.  It’s not that other images don’t speak to me (I can come up with a story for just about anything if I try), they just speak louder than the rest.  I try to post things that my followers might respond to, so I choose from a wide variety of styles in case some of you don’t find something particularly inspirational.  Then again, maybe I’m just weird.

A Look Inside St. Pete’s Dancing Marlin

Hey there!  It’s been another week, so I suppose it’s time for me to start rambling again.  Instead of the usual, I’d say it’s about time to do another food review!  This month, I think I’ll give St. Pete’s Dancing Marlin over in Deep Ellum its due.  It’s on Commerce for all those familiar with the area.  Everyone else should check their website (linked above).  Now, I know I promised you something different in the last food blog, and it is different.  I swear it’s not JUST seafood.  They have all sorts of things.  At least it’s not another oyster bar.  Anyhoo, here’s your reminder of the rating system:

MMMMM = Everything is magnificent!
MMMM = Great, but something is off.
MMM = Pretty good, but a couple of things could be better.
MM = The bad’s starting to outweigh the good.
M = Definitely more cons than pros.
… = I couldn’t find anything nice to say.

These stirrers used to say St. Pete’s Dancing Marlin, but I suppose times change. Still pretty neat!

As usual, let’s start with accessibility.  It’s a bit of a tight fit navigating the tables for larger wheelchairs (like my own), especially if the Dancing Marlin is packed.  We usually go on Sunday evenings or late afternoons during the week to avoid crowds.  Aside from that, the tables are a great height.  Most of them are rectangular, but they do have some round tables if those work better for you.  Occasionally, the floor feels like it’s going to give way (not technically an accessibility issue, but extra scary when you’re in a heavy chair), so it’s kind of an adventure!

The service.  The wait staff at the Dancing Marlin gets bonus points because they don’t normally act like I’m invisible.  That’s always a good thing.  The waiter today was attentive (kept our drinks full, answered questions, etc.), didn’t bring our food out too fast (we had time to finish things), and never once made us feel rushed.  The staff also consisted of people  who calmly dealt with someone who was sitting outside complaining about a fly in their drink (it’s summer in Texas and you’re drinking wine outside.  Put something over your glass if you don’t want flies in it. C’mon, now).  No complaints there.

Calamari and me!

Now, the important stuff: food!  For an appetizer, we got calamari.  It was good.  Not too chewy.  Had a nice crust.  It wasn’t my favorite thing there, but it was tasty.  Now, if you like garlic half as much as I do, I definitely suggest the baked garlic appetizer.  Yes, they bake garlic.  For the not-so-garlicky people, there are other delicious choices as well.

As far as entrees go, they have a decent selection from pizzas to pastas, burgers to hot dogs.  The Dancing Marlin also has a tuna steak (it comes in a number of ways).  Dad got the grilled tuna salad (tuna steak on a salad) with grilled mushrooms, onions, and jalapeños.  They sure know how to cook a tuna steak!  Dad always gets it rare (how else would you eat it), so it’s pink and tender and delicious.  And the salad definitely wasn’t skimpy.  It was a real meal.

Dad’s salad.

I usually get penne with red clam sauce (highly recommend it), but I decided to get something different this time.  I went with the F. B. Combo (catfish fillet and shrimp) with pasta salad instead of fries.  The fish and shrimp were crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside.  The breading wasn’t salty, but seasoned nicely.  And the pasta salad… I normally don’t like pasta salad, but I figured I’d give it a shot.  It was actually pretty yummy!  I was impressed.

My meal.

Dessert.  The selection here is pretty strange.  Baklava, cheesecake, chocolate cake, and ice cream bars.  Personally, I suggest the baklava.  It’s a tiny serving, but super sweet, and a perfect little end to a wonderful meal.

And, of course, we must talk about price.  It’s actually not too bad.  It’s not often we look at a check expecting it to be a certain amount and have it turn out to be less.  It happens at the Dancing Marlin.

My overall rating:

See you next week with more writerly randomness!